The judge did not provide an option for parole in the sentence.
Before the sentence was read, Shelly Faulk of the District Attorney's office -- who was one of the prosecuting attorneys for this case -- said she hoped the sentence would put an end to the reign of terror Castle and Jackson had over the witnesses.
"There is a young man no longer with us," Faulk said, "and he will never have the opportunity to do [a lot] of things. ... That has been taken away from him, and it was taken away by Dedric Jackson and Demetrius Castle."
Smith noted that the court had reviewed the pre-sentence investigation, including the defendants' versions of what had happened and found one consistency -- that it wasn't fair. Specifically, in regard to the third defendant, Castle and Jackson's cousin Leondris Tyree "Frog" Jackson, who was found not guilty in juvenile court.
"I agree with you," Smith said. "It's not fair that someone else who was involved in this case is not going to face punishment for their involvement."
Smith continued to say he felt others should have been punished as well.
"In another sense, I also think that it's not fair, quite frankly, that the parents involved in this case cannot be punished because, quite frankly, I think the parents involved in this case are just as culpable in this situation as you are," Smith said. "To allow children to run free in the night with guns and alcohol, you might as well be coating your child with gasoline and handing him a match. It's an explosion waiting to happen, and that's exactly what happened in this case on March 13, 2010."
Smith also said society plays a part in young people's lives.
"In our society it has become cool to be a criminal thanks to television and movies and music," Smith said. "But it is not cool when a young man loses his life, and it is not cool when someone destroys their potential and their life by doing something senseless. ... That someone your age could become ... involved in something so deadly, it's unthinkable.
"I believe I speak on behalf of the citizens of this county [that] this type of conduct is not welcomed here in Bartow County and, as far as I'm concerned, it's not going to be tolerated."
Under the Victim Rights Act, the victim's father was allowed to address the court before the sentencing.
"It takes a lot for me to say this," Norman Moore Sr. said, "but I love you and I've found it in my heart to forgive you. I had a lot of hate at first, but I hope you can set things right and find Jesus."
Castle and Jackson were both sentenced on count two, felony murder, to serve the remainder of their natural lives incarcerated. On county three, aggravated assault, they will serve 20 years consecutive to the felony murder count. As to count four, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, they will serve five years consecutive to the 20 for aggravated assault. On the count of battery, the court found that both young men had already served 12 months for the count of battery and would be credited for that time. The total sentence is life plus 25 years each.